No matter how small things are, the allergenic components present in various rubber-blended products can trigger contact dermatitis, latex allergies, and even life-threatening flare-ups. When you have skin conditions and sensitivities, looking into the clothes you wear can make a significant impact on your comfort.

Black rubber mix is a mixture of three chemicals used primarily as antioxidants in the production of rubber products for industry use. The final product, according to SkinSafe, ranges between black and gray. 

The three chemical components of BRM are: 

  • N-isopropyl-N’-phenyl paraphenylenediamine 
  • N-cyclohexyl-N’-phenyl paraphenylenediamine 
  • N,N’-diphenyl paraphenylenediamine 

Meanwhile, ScienceAPlus explained that the main ingredient of BRM is latex. "Black rubber is made from natural rubber latex and contains sulfur, which makes it black. This gives the rubber a strong smell," it said. 

"Black rubber is a term used to describe the vulcanized synthetic rubber that is found in black color. This is done to increase its durability and strength, reduce its permeability, and protect it from ultraviolet degradation," it added. 

HOW DOES BLACK RUBBER MIX AFFECT THE SKIN? 

BRM contains a number of chemicals and additives that can cause allergic reactions in people with sensitivity. These ingredients include vulcanizing agents, antioxidants, and accelerators like thiurams, carbamates, and thioureas. People who already have allergies to latex may also be more susceptible to reactions brought on by the proteins found in natural rubber.

Once you come into contact with products containing BRM, your immune system responds to the substance by producing antibodies and chemicals like histamine. This causes inflammation and irritability, leading to contact dermatitis symptoms. 

The typical symptoms include: 

  • Severe itching 
  • Dry and cracked skin 
  • Oozing and blistering 
  • Swelling of skin 
  • Burning sensation on the skin 
  • Red color rash on the skin 

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that poses a risk to one's life and necessitates immediate medical attention.

WHO ARE AT RISK?

1. PEOPLE WITH SENSITIVE SKIN. 

One of the most frequent skin problems caused by exposure to black rubber mix is contact dermatitis. It manifests as redness, itching, swelling, and rash formation on the affected skin.

This condition can either be allergic contact dermatitis, which is brought on by an immune reaction to particular allergens in the rubber mix, or irritant contact dermatitis, which is brought on by a direct irritant to the skin.

2. PEOPLE WITH LATEX ALLERGY. 

Black rubber mix exposure poses a serious risk to people with latex allergies. The symptoms of latex allergy can range from minor skin reactions to severe anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction. Symptoms of anaphylaxis can include throat and tongue swelling, rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing, and dizziness. In situations like this, quick medical care is essential.

3. PEOPLE IN WORKPLACES.

Due to the nature of their work, some professions, including those in the healthcare, beauty, and construction industries, may have a higher risk of exposure to the black rubber mix. Long-term or repeated exposure to rubber gloves, shoes, or other items that contain black rubber mix can raise the risk of allergic reactions or other sensitivities.

WHAT ARE SOME WAYS TO AVOID BLACK RUBBER MIX?

According to Contact Dermatitis Institute, people with skin conditions and sensitivities can avoid contact with BRM by keeping away from products that list any of the following names in the ingredients:

  • N-Isopropyl-N’-phenyl- paraphenylenediamine
  • N-phenyl-N’-isopropyl-p- phenylenediamine
  • N, N’-Diphenyl-paraphenylenediamine
  • Diphenyl PPD
  • DPPD

Diagenics UK said that the allergens mentioned above are rubber additives known as antioxidants. "Since they discolor the rubber, these additives are used primarily to produce black rubber," they reported, explaining that brief or occasional contact may pose a skin problem.

To entirely avoid black rubber mix ingredients, Diagenics UK said that people with skin allergies and sensitivities should steer clear of black and dark gray rubber. "If an object looks like it is made of rubber and it is black, it probably will be a problem," they added.

To entirely avoid black rubber mix ingredients, Diagenics UK said that people with skin allergies and sensitivities should steer clear of black and dark gray rubber. "If an object looks like it is made of rubber and it is black, it probably will be a problem," they added.

WHAT TYPE OF PRODUCTS SHOULD WE AVOID? 

The primary strategy for individuals with skin allergies and sensitivities is to avoid contact with brm as much as possible. Identifying products and materials containing rubber and opting for latex-free alternatives is essential.

While BRM allergens are commonly found in industrial and heavy-use rubber objects like tires, hoses, and cables, they can still be present in other products, such as but not limited to:

  1. PERSONAL PRODUCTS

  2. HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS

  3. HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS

WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE WITH SKIN ALLERGIES AND SENSITIVITIES DO?

  1. ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL
    Before using any products, check their ingredients first. You must carefully research whether the product contains allergenic components.

  2. NOTIFY YOUR EMPLOYER OF YOUR SKIN CONDITION/SENSITIVITY 
    If your line of work involves these allergens, you must disclose that you have a specific material allergy. You can talk about using protective clothing and equipment or other strategies to reduce contact and exposure to allergens at work.

  3. INFORM YOUR SALON
    Your health could be negatively impacted by allergens found in hair care products. Ask your hairdresser in advance if the chemicals they intend to use on your hair contain any of the allergens you specifically deal with.

  4. DISCUSS PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES WITH YOUR DOCTOR
    Your allergies should be discussed with your doctor. This can aid in the treatment of your allergies and the creation of a plan of action to stop exposure to the allergens.

  5. SWITCH TO ORGANIC COTTON CLOTHING
    If you have dermatitis in the areas where the elastic touches your skin, you should stop wearing elasticized clothing and start wearing items with drawstrings. Some elasticized clothing, such as undergarments, have BRM components woven into the fabric, which hides the black or gray hue.

    When avoidance becomes challenging, using protective barriers like non-latex gloves, clothing, or applying barrier creams can provide a layer of protection against direct contact with brm. Garments made with organic cotton clothing provide both protection and comfort, allowing people with skin allergies and sensitivities to live without irritation. 

If you have dermatitis in the areas where the elastic touches your skin, you should stop wearing elasticized clothing and start wearing items with drawstrings. Some elasticized clothing, such as undergarments, have BRM components woven into the fabric, which hides the black or gray hue.

When avoidance becomes challenging, using protective barriers like non-latex gloves, clothing, or applying barrier creams can provide a layer of protection against direct contact with brm. Garments made with organic cotton clothing provide both protection and comfort, allowing people with skin allergies and sensitivities to live without irritation. 

We, at Cottonique, believe that nature has the answer to the health concerns of millions of people all over the world. For this reason, our research and development team is primarily focused on natural materials and innovative technology to develop hygienic allergy-free products to benefit dermatological, gynecological, and environmental concerns.

If you're looking for safer clothing pieces that allow people with skin allergies and sensitivities to live easily without the use of synthetics, check out our allergy-free clothing made with 100% organic cotton. You may also read our previous blog: 5 Reasons Why You Should Make the Switch to Organic Clothing.

DISCLAIMER: The information presented on Cottonique is not, and will never be, intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content materials found on this site, from text, treatments, outcomes, charts, graphics, photographs, and study findings, are created and published for general informational purposes only. It should not, in any way, be construed as a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. 

Thus, readers are encouraged to verify any information obtained from this website with other accurate references and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with their physician. As Cottonique strives to help those with allergies live with better days, the hypoallergenic apparel brand encourages everyone to always seek the advice of their physician or other qualified health providers with any questions they may have regarding a medical condition.